MTNL is now increasing their service from 22 channels to 72 in Delhi. In Mumbai they are already running 100 channels. The major constraint in increasing the IPTV services is the availability of content . The broadcasters are reluctant to provide their content to the telcos. Their major concern being that the subscribers will record and redistribute their content.
The Telcos who so far were handling traffic are becoming access providers for the customers supplying all services carried over a broadband network (TV, Internet, Telephony) merging the fixed line. Providing a television within this offer will help to encourage the attraction of the access service and side by side also lend a hand in keeping their customers. Furthermore, TV services help in generating additional revenues.
For the alternative operators i.e. the competitors, depending on the extent of control they have over the network, a position in the TV market could, by default, include carriage of DTT offers using a hybrid STB. Their TV offer might be enhanced to comprise of 25 to 50 channels to increase their market share. In the most vibrant markets where the ISPs are operating without a TV offer they may get marginalized. But Internet services that involve access plus voice still make up the essence of the access market and are still very common with large number of customers especially, those who are already taking delivery of multichannel TV offer in other ways. Telcos like MTNL are taking advantage of this fact and making use of their for 4 million telephone subscriber base in Delhi and Mumbai.
Opportunity for all
The new concept would probably bring out gains for the TV channel operators because they can increase the licensing fee earned from pay-TV operators. Also, there would be an increase in the advertising revenues for thematic channels. There is a possibility that these channels opt for the new distribution system created by IPTV operators. The increasingly personalized nature of TV will also give an opportunity to the programmes’' rights holders to increase the value of their catalogue which would add an income for the channels that financed the programmes.
The customers for whom the technology has been introduced will also be served with a variety of benefits. IPTV will make TV viewing more personalised. Customers can store programmes and view them later at a convenient time. On demand services will become part of every day life.
IPTV can also be put to good use as a video classroom and a medium for online training. May be because of this reason IPTV is more commonly known as ITV i.e. Interactive TV in US. Furthermore, as we all are aware that a broadband connection is required for IPTV, Internet surfing will not be affected since the connection is different from the normal internet connection.
Only those channels would be transmitted to the consumer which he wants, rather than all the channels. Just one bill for three services i.e. Television, Internet and Telephone would be another pleasant benefit for the customers.
The caller ID of the incoming phone call can be known while watching TV. If you are not interested in picking up the call the phone can be skipped. Instead of playing video games on computer they can be played on the Television.
Another characteristic of IPTV is the live TV chat option offered. With choices like online home shopping, online banking and travel assistance, IPTV has even offered excellent opportunities for business to flourish. The Cost Factor
The cost of IPTV, that provides only TV viewing and games, will be equal to other services and is likely to fall due to expected competition. Right now, a connection costs a shade above Rs. 2000 as installation and an intially deposit for the Set Top Box as Rs. 999. The router is available for Rs. 199. All these are one-time costs for the consumer. In addition to this the viewer needs to pay for the pay channels that he has chosen from the bouquet. The ‘pay’ package of this would be similar as in CAS and DTH. MTNL which is the first one to offer this service would charge a monthly rental of Rs. 125 which is quite low as compared to the payment of Rs. 250 made for ordinary Cable.
Thus despite various improvements made in the Cable Television, IPTV offers much more conveniences to the viewers. Moreover it will also help in increasing the awareness of Internet in numerous households who do not have an Internet connection. Consumers do not need a PC to receive IPTV services. IPTV is all set to change the perspective of people towards TV viewing, internet and telephone usage as all these modern means of communication would become a part of our lives. It offers the customers with plentiful services that are not only affordable but also can make the life of the people convenient to a great extent. However, it may take another two years for IPTV to make a viable impact on Cable Television business.